Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Yesterday one of my third grade students asked me if I wanted to grow up to be an artist when I was a kid. I told her that I already was an artist, and that I make my own art when I can, when I'm not at work. One great thing about teaching art to kids is that they're you're biggest admirers and think even the lousiest of examples are awesome. Anyhow, she went on to ask me if I want to be famous, and how I should be a famous artist for making the art I make. I thanked her and instead of telling her how there are tons of artists who are far more skilled and creative than me, and have way more time and energy to foster and develop their work than I do, I told her instead how I would never want to be famous. My other students got in on the conversation and we talked about how with great fame, many basic freedoms are lost. I couldn't imagine being followed around by lowlife paparazzi while trying to buy groceries or go for a peaceful walk. My student's questions made me think about some of my own choices. If I were to pursue art full time, there would be sacrifices, many of which I don't believe are worth the trade-offs. I do however have great admiration and respect for those who do "go for it", and set caution to the wind. These simple questions made me ponder the many directions my life could have gone/could go. They make me wonder about the art I create and if some of it even is art, and do I really care. Finally, I told my students that you should never do things to be famous, but because you enjoy doing what you do. Yes, I believe that art should be shared with and seen by others, and in many ways, I think I make these monsters with my students (and their own work) in mind. In a sense, it's a brief escape from life's many responsibilities and worries, and a small daily indulgence into my own inner child. Sometimes, I think folks who don't take some time out to be a kid, suffer greatly in the long run. This is not to confuse childlike play with childish behavior however. Forrest Gump said how life is like a box of chocolates. I think, in many ways life is like a Splotch Monster... you never know which direction you'll go with one, so you choose one direction and make it work. And now back to our regularly scheduled programming.


  1. Life is a splotch monster! Love this post Steve, you are so right. For me, life is a doodle.

    I love that you are talking to your students about not wanting to be famous. How rare is that in their lives? Everyone wants their 15 minutes, right? Not me.

    I can't believe this is the first time I have seen this site. 225 splotches in. Jeez, I have not been a very good blogger lately. I hope to do better!

  2. Thanks Andrea, so glad you could join us!

    Yes, like you said - everyone seems to be after their fifteen minutes of fame. There was a time where fame was awarded to those who earned it - those who actually accomplished something. Now you see these desperate people who set aside any sense of dignity and self-respect to simply get noticed, usually by millions of other people who, in some way, support their actions unfortunately. Thing is, they will be forgotten soon, or simply remembered for something incredibly lame, mediocre and/or stupid.

    This conversation could have gone off in many directions, but I chose to focus on aspects of the idea and notion of fame, which I found most significant.

  3. I love how you took their questions so ... awesomely, I love what direction you went with it! I think it was perfect! I definitely think that it is solid advice to not going for something because it will make you famous, but to go for something because you absolutely love it and you just couldn't imagine your life without it!

    This post made me think happy thoughts. Thanks Steve!

  4. You know, from a distance this one looks like a stick of melting dynamite. And then I get here and you'd lit him already.
    I am terribly shallow. I'd take the money but maintain anonymity at all times - cannot think of anything worse than living your life in the truly public eye.
    Interesting musings, and I like the side you're on.

  5. Thanks Adrienne and Titus. Always a pleasure to have you drop by.